Sunday, February 24, 2013

Hey Everyone!

Isn't life amazing? And just absolutely great? 

About three thousand years ago the prophet Isaiah spoke of "a marvelous work and a wonder." It's amazing to really look and see that this Latter-day work is that marvelous work. I feel so privileged to be part of that work. It is a wonder as well, how we can find success. It's really great to know that, at the end of the day it isn't my work.  It's not President Senior's work. It's the Lord's work. Elder Holland reminded us that our missionary work is the Lord's work, the Lord's glory, and it's going to get done His way. Then he tells the missionaries that he hopes they are comfortable with that. I don't know how we can't be. 

The Lord has stretched forth His mighty hand again this week. We were blessed to have a baptism! Yes! Sister Boom was recieved into the church by way of baptism and confirmation! It was a great, and we're so grateful to the Lord for this blessing!

We also had the opportunity to take a training around to the Zone. It was all on Doctrine and Covenants section 4. It really is important to this work. We sometimes seem to take it for granted. But it's true.  As we serve the Lord with all of our heart, might, mind and strength, His power is stretched forth. 

That's something that I want to talk about. Elder Tolman and I have been working on trying to figure out how we can better help the branch here, and how we might better establish the church in Ubon. We felt a little at a loss. It was way cool because last night President called us. He said that we were on his mind and he felt like he should call us. (thank goodness for the Holy Ghost.) He called and we chatted for a bit. Then he said something that really hit me. He said, "Sit back and watch the power of the Lord." It's made me think. It made me remember to let the Lord do His work, and for me to be an instrument in His hand. We found the guidance that was given in Preach MY Gospel ch. 9 about the importance of members, really helpful. It is counsel from the Apostles, so of course it's amazing. And we really just want to help members get excited about the work. It should make a difference in everything. 

This is where I turn to the scriptures. In the Book of Helaman, chapter 3 we read about the people of Nephi, who were prideful and not keeping the commandments of the Lord.  They were contending one with another and it was hurting the entire civilization. Then we have Helaman the 2nd appointed as chief judge. He kept the ways of the Lord, and his two sons, Nephi(who will get the sealing power) and Lehi "began to grow up to the Lord." Though they have struggles, they start being righteous and the Lord blesses them. Helaman 3:24 reads "..insomuch that there were thousands who did join themselves unto the Church and were baptized unto repentance." Verse 25 says "And so great was the prosperity of the church, and so many the blessings which were poured out upon the people, that even the high priests and the teachers were astonished beyond measure." V. 26 "And it came to pass that the work of the Lord did prosper unto the baptizing and uniting(bringing back less actives?) to the church of God, many souls, yea, even tens of thousands." v. 27 "Thus we may see that the Lord is merciful unto all who will, in the sincerity of their hearts, call upon his holy name."

I thought about this a lot. I thought maybe this could happen to us, but on a smaller scale. Instead of thousands maybe for us it would be 10's. Then the thought came into my mind, who am I to restrict the Lord? It is His work. And it will get done His way. Elder Tolman and I feel with our whole hearts that Ubon and in fact, all of Thailand can become like these people. The key is found in Helaman 3:35, one of my favorite verses. "Nevertheless they did fast and pray oft, and did wax stronger and stronger in their humility  and firmer and firmer in the faith of Christ, unto the filling their souls with joy and consolation  yea, even to the purifying and the sanctification of their hearts, which sanctification cometh because of their yielding their hearts unto God." Elder Tolman and I will be following this pattern. We don't have a lot of time. But it is time to put our shoulders to the wheel. Shall we not go on in so great a cause? The power of the Lord will be shewed forth. I know that. 

I love you all. I love this work so much. It means so much to me. SO MUCH. I wish I could have more time. I know that this work will fill the earth and will bring salvation unto many. If only we will wax strong in mighty fasting and prayer, and give our hearts to God. Consecration is the ONLY way. 

Press forward!


Elder Todd.


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